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Bahrain suspends reconciliation talks with Shiite opposition in violence-wracked Gulf nation

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Bahraini anti-government protesters wave national flags and carry signs with images of jailed political leaders demanding their freedom, during a march Friday, Jan 3, 2014, in the northern village of Barbar, Bahrain. Thousands shouted "down with the government" during the march called by several opposition societies seeking democracy in the Gulf island kingdom. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali) (The Associated Press)

Bahrain's state news agency says the government has suspended reconciliation talks with Shiite opposition leaders as unrest goes on in the tiny Gulf kingdom.

The Bahrain News Agency reported Wednesday that the national dialogue talks had been suspended. That comes after a decision in September by Bahrain's main Shiite groups to suspend their participation in the reconciliation talks after the detention of a top opposition figure.

Repeated rounds of political talks have failed to significantly close the rifts between the Sunni establishment and Shiite factions, which began an Arab Spring-inspired uprising in early 2011 to seek greater political rights. More than 65 people have died in the unrest, but rights groups and others place the death toll higher.

Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.